Australian flag carrier Qantas is hoping to cash in on a rare supermoon and full lunar eclipse event by offering a one-off ‘flight to nowhere’ with free-flowing cosmic cocktails and cake. Just 100 seats will be available for the event with tickets starting at just AUD $499 for Economy Class and rising to AUD $1,499 for Business Class.
The supermoon ‘flight to nowhere’ later this month will be the fourth time Qantas has sought to generate some much needed extra income with pandemic era sightseeing flights. The original ‘flight to nowhere’ last September which took in low-level flybys across Queensland, the Northern Territory and New South Wales sold out in less than 10-minutes.
Since then, Qantas has marketed a range of ‘flights to somewhere’ that included overnight accommodation and entertainment in several iconic Australian destinations including Uluru. The airline also surprised adventurous customers with a series of ‘mystery flights’ that sold out in just 15 minutes.
The latest event will take passengers on a three-hour flight above the skies of Sydney, first performing a scenic flyby of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge before ascending to 43,000 feet (the maximum cruising altitude of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner being used for the flight) so that passengers can get an up-close view of the lunar eclipse.
“We are very excited to now be doing a supermoon scenic flight and the 787 has the largest windows of any passenger aircraft so it’s ideal for moon gazing,” commented Qantas chief customer officer Stephanie Tully.
“We think this flight has great appeal for anyone with a passion for astronomy, science, space photography, aviation or just keen to do something a little ‘out of this world’,” she continued.
“CSIRO astronomer Dr Vanessa Moss will work with the pilots to design the optimal flight path over the Pacific Ocean and also join the flight to provide insights into supermoons and all things space and astronomy,” the airline explained in a statement.
Flights to nowhere have been popular in several other countries with strict pandemic restrictions that have prevented their citizens from travelling abroad for more than a year. Taiwan has had great success with its themed flights to nowhere but some airlines, including Singapore Airlines, dismissed the idea over environmental concerns.
Qantas, however, says its supermoon flight will operate with net zero emissions and 100 per cent of the emissions will be carbon offset.
Despite receiving a boost from a recently opened travel bubble with New Zealand and strong domestic demand, Qantas is relying on an easing of international restrictions by October. The Australian government, however, has suggested it might not be ready to relax its tough pandemic border measures until late 2022 at the earliest.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.